Young Woman Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer. Shares The 1 Symptom 12 Million Women Ignore
Kristin Danley 3/16/2017
British actress Lorna Nickson Brown has had countless photos taken during her career, but it was one photo in particular that ended up saving her life. She had uploaded a solemn professional-looking photo to her Facebook page. Hiding in a shadow was proof that her life was at stake.
Lorna's brother had taken the photo, but no one paid close enough attention to the lump on her neck. It's where her thyroid is, but the lump was too big to be a healthy-sized thyroid. Then her mom, who thought she'd lost a bit of weight off her already slender frame, noticed the hard nodule.
Just to be safe, Lorna scheduled an appointment with her doctor. Three months later, the physician confirmed that she had a thyroid nodule. Shockingly, it was cancerous. Lorna took to Twitter to share her story and the signs and symptoms people need to be aware of.
"Thyroid cancer is a rare cancer and usually first presents itself with a hard lump at the front of your neck. It is not widely known about. I didn't even know what a thyroid was when I was told I had thyroid cancer."
Lorna tweeted that most thyroid cysts are benign, but some end up being cancerous like hers. According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer can cause numerous symptoms, some obvious and some that are mistaken for other illnesses or issues. They include the lump in the neck and swelling in the neck, as well as pain in the front of the neck that can radiate upward toward the ears.
According to Cure Joy, there are other not so common symptoms of a general thyroid problem that also are mistaken for other medical or health issues.
Trouble swallowing and difficulty breathing: This can be a sign of thyroid cancer, as can hoarseness or other changes in the voice that do not subside, and a constant cough that cannot be attributed to a cold.
Thinning, brittle hair and hair loss: This can be exhibited in the eyebrows too, and also can be a sign of a faulty thyroid.
Sleeplessness: This can be due to an overactive thyroid excreting too much T3 and T4 hormones, which overstimulates the central nervous system and causes insomnia, and also unexplained anxiety.
Sudden change in bowel function: Unless you have a tummy bug or a digestive disease, a sudden change in bowel function is a symptom of a sluggish, under-active thyroid.
Excessive sweating: Sweating too much, or sweating while you're simply sitting or sleeping can be a sign of a malfunctioning thyroid.
Weight loss/gain: A sudden change in weight also can be sometimes blamed on the thyroid.
Exhaustion: Memory and mental fatigue can be caused by many things, most notably a simple lack of sleep. But it also can be attributed to the thyroid not working well. The need for a nap when you aren't running on fumes but enjoyed a full night's sleep also can be blamed on the thyroid.
Changes in your cycle: If your menstrual cycle is hit or miss, you are experiencing infertility or suffered a miscarriage, sometimes the thyroid is at fault.
While many of these warning signs can be symptoms of other health issues, if you experience several of these suddenly, you may want to get checked. Essentially, pay close attention to your health and if you notice any changes that cannot be linked to a solid reason, make an appointment with your doctor. Be sure to check out any changes in your body and conduct an overall health check on yourself periodically. That extra attention just might save your life, too.
Sources: American Cancer Society, Twitter/LornaNBrown, Cure Joy Image Source: Twitter/LornaNBrown